In terms of forests and its wildlife, India is a sort of miniature representation of the world. Its biodiversity is special and unique. Diversity of forest type leads to diversity of wildlife: in terms of vegetation, we have from rainforests to desert land and from alpine pastures to coral reefs, so consequently, we have numerous species from gibbons to lions and from golden eagles to whales. India is a blessed wilderness. If you cannot manage to travel the world for biodiversity, a trip around India will show you everything.
Forests depend on the climate, soil character, elevation, and topography of a country. Geographically, India shows a great range in these four factors. There is coastal land that runs for more than 7,000km on the mainland (plus two groups of islands); there are deserts in the west; hilly vegetation on the Eastern and Western Ghats (on the south-eastern and south-western coasts); undulated low and high hilly regions plus the plains in peninsular India.
In terms of weather patterns, eastern India’s location is so strategically positioned that it receives great rainfall. And above all, literally and figuratively, India has the towering 2,500km-long and 250km-wide (in approximation) Himalayan range with its snow-capped mountains and strong, even perennial, water sources with major rivers like the Ganges and Brahmaputra flowing through.
Though there are several opinions on the types of India’s forests, there are 16 types that are considered by and large as major habitats, represented by around 500 wildlife sanctuaries and about 100 national parks with different sizes, locations, elevations and wildlife. Here’s a photographic journey through the major landscapes (habitats) that this country hosts.
This article was first published in May 2015.
is as elusive as the animals he photographs. His photographs have appeared in National Geographic Traveller, The New York Times, Lonely Planet, WWF, UNESCO, Birdlife. He is a RBS Earth Hero award winner for inspiring people for conservation.
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